Rwandan troops are in pursuit of a group of insurgents who have carried out a string of hit-and-run attacks in Nangade since Saturday, killing at least one civilian, and possibly beheading several more.
After two weeks of relatively quiet activity, insurgents were spotted in the vicinity of Chibau village on Saturday morning, approximately 6km from Nangade district headquarters, where sources report they killed an old man and burned several buildings. One source told Zitamar that several civilians were also captured by the insurgents but the numbers are not known.
Mozambican Defense and Security Forces (FDS) were dispatched to protect Nangade town.
The following morning, insurgents carried out another attack, ambushing a 21-seat minibus in the woods outside Litingina. According to multiple sources, the driver managed to evade the insurgents who opened fire on the vehicle, puncturing its tires. No deaths have been reported so far but one source told Zitamar that up to 3 people were injured, including a woman and a child. One source claims that insurgents then moved into Litingina, killing one civilian and injuring another.
According to local reports, on Sunday May 3 the insurgents entered Muiha village and beheaded several civilians. The number of casualties is not yet known. Two weeks ago on April 22, insurgents attempted to reach Muiha from Chipingo district in Mueda but were intercepted by Mozambican and Rwandan security forces.
Zitamar understands that Rwandan troops have again intervened to pursue the insurgents. The area around Chibau is formally the responsibility of troops from Tanzania and Lesotho under the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) but this has not prevented the insurgents from using the area as a logistical corridor in recent weeks.
Several sources report that despite the increased presence of SAMIM and FDS forces in Nangade since Saturday, they seem to be doing little to catch the insurgents.
Due to the attacks, the Nangade-Mueda road has closed, cutting off the district from supplies. This has reportedly disrupted banking services, preventing people from accessing their salaries, as well as the ongoing polio vaccination effort.
This article was produced by Zitamar and Mediafax under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.